Vision Magazine - October/November 2023

Vineyards in California’s San Joaquin Valley where Oppy is growing tradi- tional and new grape varieties for the Ocean Spray brand

tions. We are fortunate in the number of growers who trust us with their products, and feel privileged to represent them in the marketplace. Recognizing a demand for year- round products, we strategized to source from different global regions, ensuring consistent supply. Today, we offer over a hundred varieties from more than 30 countries, totaling over 50 million cases. These accomplishments trace back to our early strategies: staying at the forefront of technological innovation and understanding the signif- icance of diversification in IT, human resources, products and sourcing locations. How, if at all, has your passion for flying influenced your leadership or business strategies? Tremendously, believe it or not. Whenever you’re flying from one airport to another, pilots rely on a flight plan. That idea inspired my approach to strategic planning. I tell my team that we need a roadmap, a clear vision of our starting point and our destination. Of course, like any flight plan, you will need to occasionally deviate due to

unforeseen challenges, be it other aircraft or changing weather conditions. And just as in aviation, it’s crucial to have the right people in the right roles, whether piloting the plane or serving as its mechanic. And above all, we have to make sure we’re building trust. In the skies, lives depend on it. From October you will be the chair of the IFPA. What will your priorities be? It’s an exciting opportunity. I’m deeply honored to be chosen as the chair of the International Fresh Produce Association, succeeding Laura Himes from Walmart, who’s become a dear friend. Contributing to the industry has always been a passion of mine. I’ve been active with the PMA/IFPA and CPMA boards and various sub-com - mittees for over 25 years. After completing those roles, I was surprised but delighted when they approached me to chair this new association in its third year. My initial thought was, ‘Why would they want an old guy like me?’ My wife was concerned about the commitment because of all the time I’d already put in, but she’s always been

50 Vision Magazine

October/November 2023

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